Written by Reese Grayson.

On October 28th, the University Securities Investment Team (USIT) at UT Austin held its annual Texas Charity Pitch competition. Nineteen teams each chose a national or global charity to research and pitch to judges with the goal of winning a cash donation for their chosen charity. The competition featured 17 judges involved in philanthropy through academia, corporations, or nonprofits, and the companies sponsoring the prize pool this year included Boston Consulting Group and The University of Texas Investment Management Company.

With a donation of $500, third place went to the nonprofit Direct Relief.

A non-partisan and non-governmental humanitarian aid organization, Direct Relief gives direct assistance to vulnerable populations affected by acute poverty and emergencies in the United States and across the globe.

Placing second, Team Rubicon was awarded a $1000 donation. Team Rubicon’s social impact is two-fold. 

The organization is a veteran service organization that focuses on providing disaster relief to populations across the globe. Through service, Team Rubicon works on making reintegration back into civilian life for post-combat veterans easier.

Finally, taking first place was crowd favorite ReadWorks, winning an impressive $2000 donation.

ReadWorks is dedicated to improving American K-12 reading comprehension and student educational gaps by providing the largest library of tailored nonfiction and literary articles.

In addition, they also provide curated lessons and teacher guidance to go along with the articles and curriculum. Judges and USIT members noted how the team presenting this charity had good research with comprehensive data, framed the issue, and then did an exceptional job at quantifying the dollar to dollar impact of their donation.

Operations Director for USIT Rebecca Ortiz said, “This is my favorite event that USIT hosts because it is accessible to anyone on campus no matter your age, major, or finance experience.”

She noted that two of the finalists this year were biochemistry majors and added, “In the past, all freshmen teams have won because pitching a charity has more of a qualitative evaluation on how that charity is making a tangible impact on its community––and for that, you don’t always need a lot of finance knowledge.”

Ortiz encourages students all over the Forty Acres to do future Texas Charity Pitches, saying that TCP “is not like a traditional stock pitch––you still do your research, you still have to create a strong analysis, but at the end of the day it can be about something you are passionate about and something that is easy to learn about and share with judges.”

This is the 4th year for USIT to host TCP and every year continues to improve. After such a successful event, USIT plans to host TCP again next year in the fall.

Rebecca Ortiz is a second-year Business Honors and Accounting major. She is the Director of Operations for USIT at UT Austin.


Featured image from Texas Charity Pitch website.


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